Division One West Malvern Town have added experienced goalkeeper, Keiron Blackburn, to their ranks.
The popular former Westfields man, who also helped Newport County to the Conference South title and Monmouth Town win the Welsh League, kept a clean sheet on his Hillsiders’ League debut at the weekend in what was an assured display.
“I am really excited to be here at what is an exciting time for the club,” he said. “Everyone has been very welcoming and it’s clear to see that the set-up here is fantastic, something that Jay [Sauntson], Platty [Lewis Platt] and Hunty [Sam Hunt] have always told me. The Chairman has done such an incredible job and I am buzzing to be part of it. I had a great chat with Dene recently and he was very passionate about the club and the philosophy that is in place here, and I really like that. I’ve been out injured since April 2019, so it was important for me to find the right club that plays the way I like to play."
“My decision was an easy one in the end and hopefully I can help the club continue to move in the right direction. I like to get involved on the ball and be that extra player; I want to give the defenders to trust to pass me the ball. Another quality that I will bring is that I like to talk – a lot – and make sure that we’re organised at the back and first and foremost have a solid foundation on which to build from."
“From what I have seen so far, going forward we are very strong and I don’t think there will be many games where we won’t score, so if we can keep clean sheets then it will give us a platform to go on and win football matches. Overall I hope that my experience will help the team and help in our quest to win this League."
“It was nice to get a clean sheet under my belt in the first League game. I’ll be honest, after 525 days of not playing a competitive fixture, I was quite nervous at first, but I soon settled into it and it was the perfect return in the end. The boys played really well and put Peggy to the sword. Make no mistake, Hereford Pegasus are a very strong team and will be there or thereabouts again this season, so that scoreline, even though they had a man sent off, will send a message to everyone in the League that we mean business. The pace and strength we have will cause any team a problem, be it at this level and or in the League above."
“Personally I expect us to win the League; I’ve seen enough already to form that opinion and whilst I’ve been told that there are some good teams in this League, we can only control what we do and I have every faith in the coaching staff and players that we have here. I’m feeling better than I have for many years. I may be a little rusty, but I have been chomping at the bit to get back into action and it makes you truly appreciate what you have. I just want to play a full season, injury free, and enjoy my football again.”
Co-manager, Lee Hooper, added: “It’s great to have Keiron on board. His experience and knowledge of the game will be so valuable to us. We all know his ability as a goalkeeper; and the clubs that he has previously played for shows this and his consistency. James Loader has stepped up from the Senior Development team during pre-season and done well to show us what he is all about and it’s great to have him as an option and he can only learn from having someone like Keiron around.”